Balinese Cat Breed

The Balinese is a cat breed of oriental cat with long hair and Siamese-style markings, or points. It resembles a Siamese with a medium-length silky coat and a plumed tail, but is not nearly as fluffy as a Himalayan, and requires much less grooming. Balinese are extremely intelligent cats, although less talkative than their Siamese ancestors.

The Balinese was originally registered as a "longhaired Siamese", and examples were known from the early 1920s. The occasional long-haired kittens in a Siamese litter were seen as an oddity, and sold as household pets rather than as show cats. This changed in the mid-1950s, when two breeders, Mrs. Marion Dorsey of Rai-Mar Cattery in California and Mrs. Helen Smith of MerryMews Cattery in New York, decided that they would commence a breeding program for the longhaired cats. Helen Smith named the cats "Balinese" because she felt they showed the grace and beauty of Balinese dancers, and because "longhaired Siamese" seemed a rather clunky name for such graceful felines. The breed became quite popular after this, and a number of breeders began working on "perfecting" the Balinese appearance. This led eventually to the development of two entirely separate "strands" of Balinese cat - some owners prefer a traditional or "apple-headed" Balinese, while breeders and judges tend to prefer a more contemporary appearance.

According to "Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds" by J. Anne Helgren 1997 Barron's Educational Series Inc., which has a rating scale on intelligence and other breed traits, the Siamese and Balinese are rated the highest 9-10 on a scale of 1 to 10. The Balinese is rated the highest in intelligence of all the long-haired breeds. Other breeds such a Persians rate a 6, Himalayans 7 and Tonkinese 8.

Balinese tend to live between 18 to 21 years

Like the Siamese, there are now two different varieties of Balinese being bred and shown - "traditional" Balinese and "contemporary" Balinese. The traditional Balinese cat has a coat approximately two inches long over its entire body and it is a sturdy and robust cat with a semi-rounded muzzle and ears. The traditional Balinese closely resembles a Ragdoll cat although they do not share any of the same genes or breeding other than having a partially Siamese ancestry. A "contemporary" Balinese has a much shorter coat and is virtually identical to a standard show Siamese except for its tail, which is a graceful silky plume. Like the Siamese, the Balinese has a long, slim body, wedge-shaped head, and vivid blue eyes. Its soft, ermine-like coat is short in comparison to those of other longhaired cats, and doesn't form a ruff.

Like the Siamese, the Balinese loves attention; it is very playful and fond of human company. The Balinese is a gregarious creature, While they still 'talk' like their Siamese cousins, their voices are far softer and they speak only when they have something they feel is important to say.

In most associations, the Balinese is accepted in a full range of colors, including the four traditional Siamese point colors of seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac, as well as less traditional colors such as red and cream, and patterns such as lynx (tabby) point and tortie point. However, in the Cat Fanciers' Association, the Balinese is only accepted in the four traditional Siamese colors; all other colors and patterns are considered Javanese.

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American Shorthair

The American Shorthair (ASH) is the 8th most popular cat breed in the United States, according the Cat Fancier's Association for 2006–2007. The breed is believed to be descended from English cats (the forebears of today's British Shorthairs) brought to North America by early British settlers to protect valuable cargo from mice and rats.

When settlers sailed from Britain to North America they carried cats on board ship as working cats to protect the stores from mice. Most of these cats "settled" in the New World, interbred, and developed special characteristics to help them cope with their new life and climate. Early this century a selective breeding program was established to develop the best qualities of these cats.

A very athletic cat, American Shorthair has a larger, leaner, and more powerfully built body than its relation, the British Shorthair.

American Shorthairs are a pedigreed cat with strict standards and a distinctive appearance as set by the various Cat Fanciers Associations worldwide.

Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, the breed was renamed in 1966 to the "American Shorthair" to better represent its "All American" character and to differentiate it from other shorthaired breeds. The name "American Shorthair" also reinforces the notion that the American shorthair is distinct from non-pedigreed, short-haired cats in the United States.

A non-pedigreed shorthaired cat (called a Domestic shorthair) might resemble an American Shorthair, just as another non-pedigreed cat might look like a Siamese, Persian or Maine Coon. The difference, however, is that American shorthairs are a pedigreed cat and are recognized as such by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).

According to the CFA, American Shorthairs are low-maintenance cats that are generally healthy, easy-going, affectionate with owners and social with strangers. Males are significantly larger than females, weighing eleven to fifteen pounds when fully grown. Mature females weigh eight to twelve pounds when they achieve full growth at three to four years of age. American Shorthairs can live fifteen to twenty years, like most felines, and often only requiring only annual vaccinations, veterinary checkups, a quality diet and plenty of tender loving care. These cats have long tails and usually slender bodies.

The American Shorthair is recognized in more than eighty different colors and patterns ranging from the striking brown patched tabby to the glistening blue-eyed white, the beautiful shaded silvers, smokes and cameos to the flashy calico van, and many colors in between. The most well-known American Shorthair color today is the silver tabby, with dense black markings set on a sterling silver background.

In the American Shorthair and other cat breeds, heart disease can be inherited. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) has been confirmed as an autosomal dominant inherited trait. While there is no cure for HCM, early diagnosis and medication can help significantly prolong an affected cat's life.

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American Curl

The American Curl is a cat breeds characterized by its unusual ears, which curl back from the face toward the center of the back of the skull. An American Curl's ears should be handled carefully because rough handling may damage the cartilage in the ear. The cat breed originated in Lakewood, California as the result of a spontaneous mutation. In June, 1981, two stray kittens were found and taken in by the Ruga family. The kittens were both longhaired, one black and the other black and white. The family named them Shulamith and Panda respectively, but Panda disappeared several weeks later, making Shulamith the foundation female of the American Curl breed.

In 1983, an American Curl was exhibited at a cat show for the first time, and in 1987, the longhaired American Curl was given championship status by The International Cat Association (TICA). In 1993, the American Curl became the first breed admitted to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) Championship Class with both longhair and shorthair divisions.

The American Curl is a medium sized cat (5-10 lbs), and does not reach maturity until 2–3 years of age. They are strong and healthy, remarkably free of the genetic defects that affect many purebred cats.

American Curl kittens are born with straight ears, which begin to curl within ten days. After four months, their ears will not curl any longer, and should be hard and stiff to the touch. A pet quality American Curl may have almost straight ears, but showcats must have ears that curl in an arc between 90 and 180 degrees. A greater angle is preferable, but cats will be disqualified if their ears touch the back of their skulls.

Both longhaired and shorthaired American Curls have soft, silky coats which lie flat against their bodies. They require little grooming, but enjoy spending time with their owners.

The American Curl, while still an uncommon breed, is found across the world in the United States, Spain, France, Japan, Russia, and many other countries.

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American Polydactyl

A polydactyl cat is a cat with a congenital physical anomaly, with more than usual number of toes on one or more of its paws as a result of a cat body type genetic mutation. In animals including humans, polydactyly (or polydactylism, also known as hyperdactyly) is the anatomical abnormality of having more than the usual number of digits on the hands or feet.

Normal cats have five toes on each front paw and four toes on each hind paw. Polydactyl cats may have as many as seven digits on front and/or hind paws, and various combinations of anywhere from four to seven are common, although each of the front and rear paws are typically the same. Polydactyly is most commonly found on the front paws only, with polydactyly of all four paws being less common. It is rare for a cat to have polydactyl hind paws only.

The true polydactyly - commonly called mitten foot, mitten cat or thumb cat condition - is a congenital abnormality, genetically inherited as an autosomal dominant trait of the Pd gene with incomplete penetrance. This type of polydactyly is not life-threatening and usually not even debilitating to a cat. Some polydactyl kittens initially have more difficulty in learning to walk than normal animals. However in some cases polydactyly appears to improve the dexterity of the animal. For example, a common variation with six toes on the front paws, with two opposing digits on each (comparable in use to human thumbs), enables the cat to learn and perform feats of manual dexterity generally not observed in non-polydactyl cats, such as opening latches or catching objects with a single paw.

Feline radial hypoplasia (see squitten) is a mimic of polydactyly and is considered a severe condition. Radial hypoplasia may cause the formation of extra jointed toes, but it is not a result of the Pd gene normally associated with polydactyls. It thus does not cause the "mitten cat" or "thumb cat" condition where the extra toes occur separated from the normal ones just like a dewclaw, usually associated with an additional pad which makes them look like an underdeveloped foot sticking out near the base of the normal toes.

Rather, radial hypoplasia-related extra toes are immediately adjacent to the normal ones, giving the cat overly large, flat feet - colloquially known as "patty feet" or "hamburger feet". Though this looks less serious than true polydactyly (as the feet appear "normal" apart from having one or two extra toes), breeding such cats will eventually result in severely crippled offspring. Cats used in polydactyl breeding programs can be screened by x-ray for indicators of radial hypoplasia, and cats suspected to have radial hypoplasia should not be used for breeding.

Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway was one of the more famous lovers of polydactyl cats, after being first given a six-toed cat by a ship's captain. Upon Hemingway's death in 1961, his former home in Key West, Florida, became a museum and a home for his cats, and it currently houses approximately fifty descendants of his cats (about half of which are polydactyl). Because of his love for these animals, Hemingway cat, or simply Hemingway, is a slang term which has come to describe polydactyls (Michael Palin describes one such cat named "Bill Clinton" he found at a former residence of Hemingway's in Key West during the filming of his "Hemingway Adventure" special).

Other nicknames include "boxers" or "boxing cats", "mitten cats", "thumb cats", "six-finger cats", "Boston Thumb Cats", "Cardi-cats" and "double-pawed cats" (a misnomer since there is a specific double paw condition, although they may be interrelated).

American Polydactyl Cats are also being bred as a specific cat breed, with specific physical and behavioral characteristics in addition to extra digits. A particular strain native to Ithaca, New York, is known as the "Ithacats". The American Polydactyl is not to be confused with the pedigree Maine Coon polydactyl. The polydactyl form of the Maine Coon is being reinstated by some breeders.

Polydactyly has also been observed in big cats.

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Australian Mist

The Australian Mist (Spotted Mist) is a breed of cat developed in Australia.

This cat breed was developed by Dr Truda Straede in Australia commencing in 1976, hence its name. The breed was developed by crossing the Burmese, Abyssinian, and Domestic shorthair cats to create a shorthaired cat with a spotted coat. The name was changed from 'Spotted Mist' to 'Australian Mist' in 1998 when cats with marbled coats, rather than spots, were accepted as part of the breed.

Physical characteristics

Australian Mists are medium-sized short haired cats, with a round head and large, expressive eyes. The coat patterns have three levels of definition; (1) ground color, paler than pattern; (2) pattern, delicate though distinct from ground color; (3) appears to wear a misted veil, caused by random ticking in the solid color areas. The legs and tail are ringed or barred, and the face and neck also have delicate lines of color. Australian Mist cats come in seven colors: brown, blue, chocolate, lilac, caramel, gold and peach.

Cat Temperament

They make perfect pets for children of all ages, even very young ones, as they are tolerant of handling, and are not inclined to scratch. As kittens they are lively, but sober up a little on maturity. Their life expectancy is in the mid to late teens.

Australian Mists thrive on human contact, making them happy to remain indoors between dusk and dawn or to be wholly indoor pets, an advantage as most people now prefer to keep their pets indoors. This also protects native wildlife. Some Mists can be trained to go for walks on a lead.

Their tendency to crawl into the nearest lap with or without invitation and to constantly hang around to see what people are up to, makes them excellent companions for home workers and invalids. Desexed cats and kittens fit in easily with all sorts of cats and dogs. Selective breeding has further enhanced these qualities, creating a truly companionable pet, which quickly becomes a member of the family.

Cat Distribution

As a relatively new breed, most Australian Mist catteries are in Australia, however there are a few in the U.K. and some desexed cats have been introduced to America and several other countries.

Breed Acceptance Status

The cat breed is now accepted for Championship status by the World Cat Federation. The Australian Mist celebrated 20 years as a Championship breed in Australia during 2006.

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Abyssinian - Cat Breeds

The Abyssinian is a cat breeds of domesticated cat with a distinctive ticked coat. There are many stories about its origins, often revolving around Egypt, but the actual origins are uncertain. The Abyssinian has become one of the most popular breeds of shorthair cat in the USA.


The Abyssinian's body is of medium length, lithe, and with well-developed muscles. The legs are slender in proportion to the body, with a fine bone structure. The paws are small and oval. The Abyssinian has a fairly long tail, broad at the base and tapering to a point.

The head is broad and moderately wedge-shaped, with almond-shaped eyes that range from gold, green, hazel or copper. The nose and chin usually form a straight vertical line when viewed in profile. The Abyssinian's alert, relatively large ears are broad and cupped at the base, and moderately pointed at the tips, where tufts of hair are commonly seen. Large ear tufts are viewed as a must for show breeds. An M-shaped marking is sometimes found in the fur on the forehead. The "M" shaped marking, also referred to "frown lines", appear above an Abyssinian's eyes. They have markings, most often referred to as "mascara lines", appearing from the corners of their eyes.

Coat types and genetic makeup

The coat is medium-length, dense, and silky to the touch. The Abyssinian, and a similar long-hair cat breed called the Somali, have coats that are unusual enough to catch attention. These felines owe their special coat to one dominant mutant gene known as Ta. Each hair has a base color with three or four darker-colored bands; the hair is the lighter color at the root, and the darker "ticking" color at the tip. This ticking is found only in the Somali, Abyssinian and Singapura.

The first cat to have its entire genome published was an Abyssinian named Cinnamon.

The original Abyssinian coat color is known as 'Usual' in the United Kingdom and as 'Ruddy' elsewhere. The coat has a warm reddish-brown base, with black ticking. The feet and the backs of the hind legs are always black.

Over the years, various other colours have been developed from this original form, but the markings on the coat have remained the same. The back of the hind legs and the pads of the paws are always darker than the rest of the coat. A popular color is Sorrel, which has a cinnamon (yellowish-brown) base, with chocolate brown ticking, paw pads and backs of the legs. Blue Abyssinians, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, have a light beige base color with blue ticking, paw pads and backs of the legs. The relatively rare Fawn Abyssinians have a light-cream base color, with darker cream ticking and warm dark cream pads and backs of the legs.

Silver Abyssinians are a separate group among the breed. Although this color has been in existence for decades, it is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association, the world's largest registry of pedigreed cats. In Silvers, the undercoat is always a pure silvery white. The markings include black, blue, warm dark cream and cinnamon. Purely Silver Abyssinians are difficult to breed because they sometimes have undesirable tan patches in the coat. In addition to this, any spots in the coat show up more clearly on a silver coat.

Rare colors include the Tortoiseshell, Red, Cream, Chocolate and Lilac, which are all bred on a small scale in Holland and the UK.

Abyssinian kittens are born with dark coats that gradually lighten as they mature. It usually takes several months for the final coat color to be established.


Abyssinians temperament are extroverted, extremely active, playful, willful and intelligent. They are arguably the most active breed of cats. They are usually not "lap cats", being too preoccupied with exploring and playing. They are popular among breeders and owners, and can be very successful show cats. Not all Abyssinians are shown, however, because the color and type standards are very exacting, and because some are shy towards strangers and timid in public. They have quiet, engaging voices.

"Abys", as they are affectionately referred to by their fans, need a great deal of interaction with the family to keep them happy and can get depressed without daily activity and attention. They generally get along well with other cats, although they need their space and the females can sometimes be irritable around other cats. Abyssinians are known for their curiosity and enjoy exploring their surroundings, including heights. They are sensible cats that do not take unnecessary risks. As one might expect from such an intelligent and physically capable breed, Abyssinians are known to be formidable hunters. They adore toys and can play for hours with a favorite ball. Some play fetch.

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List of Cat Breeds

The following list of cat breeds includes domestic cat breeds and domestic/wild hybrids. The list of cat breeds includes established breeds recognized by various cat registries, new and experimental breeds, distinct domestic population not being actively developed and lapsed breeds.

Cat Breeds Country Coat Pattern Image
Abyssinian Egypt Short Ticked Gustav chocolate.jpg
Australian Mist Australia Short Spotted and Classic tabby Blue Spotted Australian Mist.jpg
American Polydactyl

American Curl United States Short/Long All American curl 2.jpg
American Shorthair United States Short
American shorthair cat.jpg
Balinese Cat United States Long Colorpoint Oskar.jpg
Bengal Cat United States Short Spotted/Marbled BengalCat Stella.jpg
Birman Burma Long Colorpoint Birman2.jpg
Bombay cat United States Short Solid Bombay cat.jpg
Brazilian Shorthair Brazil Short All Gato pelo curto brasileiro.JPG
British Shorthair United Kingdom Short All Britishblue.jpg
British Longhair United Kingdom

British Longhair - Black Silver Shaded.jpg
Burmese cat Burma Short Solid Blissandlucky11.jpg
Burmilla Cat United Kingdom Short/Long
Male Burmilla cat.jpeg
California Spangled Cat United States Short Spotted Star Spangled Cat.jpg
Chartreux France Short Solid Abbaye fev2006 003.jpg
Chausie Cat France Short Ticked Chausiecatexample.jpg
Colorpoint Shorthair
Cornish Rex England Rex All BebopsLilacPrince.JPG
Devon Rex England Rex All Devon Rex Izzy.jpg
Donskoy cat Russia Hairless
Cat don sphinx.JPG
Dragon Li China Short Striped tabby Dragon Li - Li Hua Mau1.jpg
Egyptian Mau Egypt Short Spotted Egy mau.jpg
European Shorthair Sweden Short
European shorthair procumbent Quincy.jpg
Exotic Shorthair United States Short All Cream tabby exotic cat.jpg
German Rex East Germany Rex
German Rex Emi.jpg
Havana Brown United Kingdom Short Solid Havana Brown.jpg
Himalayan Cat United Kingdom Long Colorpoint Chocolate Himlayan.jpg
Japanese Bobtail Japan Short/Long All but colorpoint and ticked JapaneseBobtailBlueEyedMi-ke.JPG
Javanese Cat
Long Colorpoint Javanese cat.jpg
Korat Cat Thailand Short Solid Veda,chat-adulte-mâle-race-korat.JPG
Kurilian Bobtail Russia Short/Long
Kurilian bobtail.JPG
LaPerm United States Rex All Laperm LH red tabby.jpg
Maine Coon United States Long All but colorpoint and ticked Maine Coon female.jpg
Manx Cat Isle of Man Short/Long All but colorpoint Manx breed cat named Inkku.jpg
Munchkin cat United States

Munchkin cat grooming.jpg
Nebelung Germany Semi-long Solid Aleksandr van Song de Chine 2 zijkant klein majesteit.JPG
Norwegian Forest Cat Norway Long All but colorpoint Norskskogkatt Evita 3.JPG
Ocicat United States Short Spotted Ocicat-Charan.jpg
Oriental Bicolour

Oriental shorthair 20070130 caroline.jpg
Oriental Shorthair
Short All but colorpoint Mite 030604.jpg
Persian Greater Iran Long All Persialainen.jpg
Peterbald Russia Hairless All Tamila.jpg
Pixie-Bob United States Short Spotted Jarnac Bepacific feb07.jpg
Ragamuffin United States Long All Ragamuffin.jpg
Ragdoll United States Long Colorpoint/Mitted/Bicolor Ragdoll from Gatil Ragbelas.jpg
Russian Blue Russia Short Solid Russian Blue 001.gif
Savannah Cat United States Short Spotted Savannah Cat portrait.jpg
Scottish Fold Scotland Short/Long All Scottishfold.jpg
Selkirk Rex United States Rex (Short/Long) All PolloSelkirkRex.jpg
Serengeti Cat United States Short Spotted Serengetimalecat.jpg
Siamese Thailand Short Colorpoint Siam lilacpoint.jpg
Siberian Cat Russia Semi-long All Qgcfillimor.jpg
Singapura Singapore Short Ticked Raffles singapura cat.jpg
Snowshoe United States Short Colorpoint Snowshoe (cat).JPG
Sokoke Kenya Short Classic tabby with ticking Sokoke dalili.jpg
Somali United States Long Ticked Blue Somali kitten age 3 months.jpg
Sphynx Canada Hairless All Sphinx2 July 2006.jpg
Tonkinese Canada Short Colourpoint/Mink/Solid Tonkinese.gif
Turkish Angora Turkey Semi-long All but colorpoint Angora.jpg
Turkish Van Turkey Semi-long Van Turkish Van Example2.jpg
Turkish Vankedisi Turkey Semi-long All white Turkish Van Cat.jpg
Twisty Cat/Squitten

Ukrainian Levkoy Ukraine Hairless
Ukrainian Levkoy cat.jpg
York Chocolate Cat United States

Adult Kittie (s).jpg

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